Wednesday, January 3, 2018

So close, yet unknown to each other they survived

It was back in January 2004 when Eva STEUER Halas called me from across the Atlantic Ocean (5737.7 miles away). She told me that it had been about 50 years since she was in touch with her first cousins, brother and sister, Georg & Kato Steuer, who also were survivors. She didn’t think any of her relatives were still living since her only known relative she knew of that wasn’t in Europe at the time of the Holocaust was the famous trial attorney, Max D Steuer. She happened to see another Steuer attorney speaking on tv and called him to ask if they might be related. He quickly gave her my name and phone number since he knew I was the family historian and genealogist.

Rabbi Abraham Steuer
In researching more on Rabbi Abraham Steuer’s brother Salamon and his descendants, I found that Pal (Paul) Bard was a survivor and lived in Montreal, Canada. His mother was Adel/Adela STEUER Bard, the daughter of Salamon STEUER and Rezi Szipszner. Paul submitted Pages of Testimony not only for his mother and brother, but for his mother’s brothers: Dezso Sebestyén (born Steuer), Nandor and Alexander.

Paul Bard

I also have been in touch with the granddaughter of Ilona (Hana) STEUER Levi, daughter of Salamon STEUER and Rezi Szipszner. She did know Paul Bard, but unfortunately doesn’t know much about her Steuer family. She and Paul lived so close to Eva, but they never were able to connect. I know Eva would have loved to have known more of her family survived. Only if I had found out, even some of this information, before she died so I could have shared it with her.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Rabbi Abraham Steuer’s Brother Uncovered

Eva Steuer Halas

Eva Steuer Halas this is for you! It’s too bad I found this out too late for you to know about it, but I did find living relatives of your grandfather’s brother!

Up to about 2 weeks ago, I only knew that Rabbi Abraham Steuer’s parents were Nátán/Náthán Steuer and Adél (Adi) Deutsch and that he had two sisters. His older sister was Pepi, who married Adolf Weinberger and his younger sister Tulesa, who married Joszef Samuel.

Nátán was a produce vendor. There is a Nátán in the 1816 Hungarian census, it states he came to Hungary before 1791, he was 50 years old at that time (born ca 1766) and living in Varallya, Varad, Bihar; the same general area. I still don’t know if there is any family connection between them, perhaps his grandfather.

My newest discovery is that Náthán Steuer and Adi Deutsch had another son, Salamon Steuer, born 15 Dec 1857, Nagyvarad.
Salamon's birth record

Salamon Steuer married Rézi/Rozalia Szipszner on 6 Mar 1878, Chișineu-Criș, Arad, Transilvania, România. They were married by Salamon’s brother, Rabbi Abraham Steuer [Romania Records].

Salamon and Rezi's marriage record

I have found 8 children for Salamon and Rézi in the Romanian Birth Records. Someone else researching this family (Adela Steuer Bard) stated that Salamon and Rézi had 9 sons and that Salamon had 6 brothers who were rabbis. I haven’t been able to prove either of these two statements to be true. What I can prove is:

Salamon and Rézi’s children:
David Ahron Steuer, b. 11 Apr 1879, Chișineu-Criș (Kisjenő), Arad, România
Nandor Steuer, b. 11 May 1884, Chișineu-Criș (Kisjenő), Arad, România
Dezso Steuer, b. 1885, Chișineu-Criș (Kisjenő), Arad, România
Szerén Steuer, b. 9 Apr 1886, Chișineu-Criș (Kisjenő), Arad, România
Ilona (Hana) Steuer, b. 17 Feb 1888, Chișineu-Criș (Kisjenő), Arad, România
Alexander Steuer, b. 1892, Chișineu-Criș (Kisjenő), Arad, România
Simon Steuer, b. 1892, Nagyvarad
Adela Steuer, b. May 1900, Oradea, Bihor, Hungary

Nandor was an optician. During the war he was in the Hungarian armed forces – labor battalions MUSZ. He was living in Budapest when he was taken by the Nazis. He did have one son, Nicolas (Shlomo). Nandor was herded in a “Death March” toward Austria, while the Russians were closing in from the east. He was shot on the road according to Paul Bard although he received a “Posthumous Death in Action” decoration in 1948 and they stated his death was due to exhaustion, age 62. Nandor was buried three times. His family moved his body twice. His final resting place is in Israel. Nicolas (Shlomo) was a survivor and had children of his own.

Dezso Steuer changed his last name to Sebestyen. He married a woman named Serena (Sara) and he was a teacher and Hebrew School Principal. Dezso was deported to a ghetto. He committed suicide on the train to Auschwitz in June 1944.
Dezso's Page of Testimony

Szerén Steuer married Jakab Loewy. She was murdered and was found on the “List of murdered Jews” from Yizkor books found in Nagyvarad. Her husband Jakob was also murdered.

Ilona (Hana) Steuer married Armin Levi (Lowy). Ilona was murdered in 1944 the gas chamber of Auschwitz. They did have at least one child since her Page of Testimony was submitted by her granddaughter who lives in Canada.

Alexander Steuer lived in Dej, Somes, Transylvania, Romania. He was a mining engineer and had two sons and he saw them killed in front of him. He was deported to Auschwitz and was murdered in the gas chamber due to being unfit to work.
Alexander's Page of Testimony

Simon Steuer was an engineer. Helived at Kiraly Utca 23, Pecs, Hungary. Simon was in the Ghetto in Dej, Hungary (now Romania).His wife was Erzsébet Weisz. They had two sons, Viktor, b. 1924, Felsö-Bánya, Saut-Mare, Romania and Erno, born in 1926. It’s believed that Simon was murdered in 1944.

Adela Steuer married Alexander Bard. They had two children: Istvan/Stefan (Shlomo Zalmen) Bard, b. 24 Oct 1920, Nagyvarad and Paul. Stefan was a law student and  then in a forced labor betalion and was sent to Ukraine. Jews had to go everywhere on foot and weren’t given guns. [Interview with Paul] Paul’s application for university was rejected. Adela was deported to Auschwitz on a woman's transport. She died in 1944, Auschwitz.
Stefan Bard
Paul Bard was a survivor and lived in Canada and Israel until his death. He died at the age of 93 in Montréal, Quebec, Canada on 23 Jan 2014. He arrived at Aschwitz on 28 Jan 1945 and his prisoner number was 140205. He was liberated from Mühldorf. His father also survived and returned to Oradea after the war. Paul submitted Pages of Testimony for his family members that perished. In 1944 most of the family were sent to Auschwitz. 

Paul lost his mother and brother, as well as many aunts and uncles on both sides of his family. His father, Alexander, was very young went he went into the army in WWI. He was sent to the front and mostly fought on the Italian Alps. Non-commissioned officer. After he met his wife he changed his name from Blum to Bard to sound more Hungarian.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Reunited with DNA

Around 10 years ago I was in touch with a few people that I thought might be related to my Steuer family, but they never had enough information to find a link between our families other than 2 of their ancestors were from Breslau and the other knew they were from Galicia. Over the years I would check back with them to see if they had found more information.

It wasn’t until my Judkowitz cousin decided to take the basic DNA test to find proof that our assumption, after lots of research, was a cousin from a branch that never changed their last name to Steuer as the other branches. I asked a male cousin who would have had a common ancestor to him if he would also take a DNA test. The basic tests did show they were a match - 4th cousins. My Judkowitz cousin wanted to take it further and took a Y-DNA and mtDNA tests and we found that two other of my Steuer cousins had also taken DNA test, unknown to me before hand, and they too were matches with him.

At this point, I stepped back and wasn’t so involved in the DNA process and my Judkowitz cousin was able to continue searching for cousins on both sides of his family. He kept me informed on what he found out. More time passed and then in July 2017 he wrote me and said he had been contacted by 3 people who were DNA matches to him. I saw that they were all people I had been in touch with about 10 years ago and was never able to find our family’s common ancestors.

Just last night I heard from one of these three people that he heard from his cousin that they were related to the famous attorney, Max D Steuer and his son Aron L Steuer. This was a big revelation! I know for a fact that Max D Steuer was my great-grandfather’s first cousin. So once I know his family’s connection to Max D, I’ll know is connection to me!

I can't wait to hear more!